More from Mgr Wadsworth

Well it does to the people who post here... dispassionate and reasoned debate, with a good deal of humour thrown in for good measure.

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Nick Baty
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Re: More from Mgr Wadsworth

Post by Nick Baty » Tue Jul 10, 2012 7:53 am

Music list is interesting: http://www.sjrcc.org.uk/page3/choirandmusic.html
Nothing for the assembly?

alan29
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Re: More from Mgr Wadsworth

Post by alan29 » Tue Jul 10, 2012 9:26 am

To be fair, places like Spanish Place are hardly normal parishes. People will travel there to listen to the music.
Sorry, I meant to put ".... to passively participate."

nazard
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Re: More from Mgr Wadsworth

Post by nazard » Tue Jul 10, 2012 1:20 pm

Of course, it might just set them thinking, and thought, unpopular though it is, is an activity.

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mcb
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Re: More from Mgr Wadsworth

Post by mcb » Tue Jul 10, 2012 1:36 pm

Southern Comfort wrote:I think this is a mistake. It's all very well hoping that people will come along and engage in discussion, but the vast majority of people won't in fact be there to hear it. For them, it will look as if the SSG is endorsing Mgr Wadsworth's ideas, publicly visible as they are elsewhere on the internet, even though this is actually far from the case, I think.

If this were to be an open discussion in another forum, there would be no problem; but given that this is the J D Crichton memorial lecture, one would expect each lecturer's contribution to be broadly in line with Crichton's own scholarship and the vision which he worked for during his long and distinguished life.

I don't agree with this. It would be unhealthy if Society members only ever listened to speakers we knew in advance we were going to agree with, and I don't think it makes sense to limit the Crichton Memorial Lecture to speakers endorsing Crichton's own views. As a student (and after) I attended the annual Fisher lecture in Cambridge, and heard it delivered both by Herbert McCabe and Joseph Ratzinger. They articulated somewhat different points of view. :-) Nor could either, I suspect, lay claim to upholding the views of St John Fisher, in whose memory their lectures were being given.

I heard Mgr Wadsworth speaking at this year's meeting of the Conference of Catholic Directors of Music (CCDM). This is the body that includes all the cathedral music directors in this country, together with other, full-time professional, musical directors working in the Catholic Church. There was plenty to disagree with in the talk, and plenty to agree with. We heard the same excoriation of contemporary, 'peformance-oriented' liturgical music that Mgr Wadsworth has made elsewhere. But it wasn't clear (to judge from the questions that followed) whether his critique only applied to music in popular styles, rather than also to high-art choral music of the kind we had just heard in a Mass in Westminster Cathedral. He also said that "advocates of Gregorian chant have an annoying tendency to rewrite history", making clear that the problems he perceives today go back to before Vatican II: specifically, to the Low Mass culture that ensured that (i) the priest does not sing; and (ii) music is regarded as an irrelevant bolt-on to the liturgy.

I asked him a question that I thought wasn't too confrontational, about whether our musical culture should be something essentially top-down in character, that comes to us from the apostles and is articulated by the Magisterium, or whether it makes more sense to see it as something that comes from the grass roots, driven by anthropological forces rather than doctrinal ones. We had a courteous discussion. Afterwards he said (as we passed each other on the way in and out of the gents!) that it was good to exchange views with people whose opinions you don't share. I have to say I agree.

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Re: More from Mgr Wadsworth

Post by londonchurchman » Tue Jul 10, 2012 2:29 pm

Nick Baty wrote:Music list is interesting: http://www.sjrcc.org.uk/page3/choirandmusic.html
Nothing for the assembly?

Just a recessional hymn at 10.30am Solemn Mass. The Saturday night mass has 2 hymns (which nobody sings of course) but the Ordinary of the mass is said. This pattern seems quite common at parishes with professional choirs.

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Re: More from Mgr Wadsworth

Post by JW » Tue Jul 10, 2012 3:28 pm

I'm by no means against people expressing their fervently held views. Hopefully the Church will continue to cater for the widest possible variety of tastes in worship, including that found at Spanish Place and within the Ordinariate. As I see it, the problem lies in the dogmatism with which this particular speaker and others express their views, believing that they should be mainstream within the church. By inviting him, the SSG gives credence to this opinion. I suspect the conformity that he calls for now may not have been in evidence in the days when the Tridentine Mass was prohibited? Even now, this form is extra ordinary, not the normative form.

The wedding I've just described in another thread would be considered anathema by Mgr. Wadworth but it was actually a very moving occasion and a most valid sacrament.

If the SSG wish to invite people from all viewpoints, perhaps they could even things up by inviting Mike Anderson, or even Graham Kendrick, to give the lecture next year?
JW

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Re: More from Mgr Wadsworth

Post by docmattc » Tue Jul 10, 2012 6:34 pm

I agree entirely with mcb, and am in total disagreement with Southern Comfort's viewpoint which is little removed from sticking one's fingers in one's ears and shouting loudly whenever one hears something which one suspects may challenge one's views.

When Southern Comfort says
A significant number of people thought...
and
Others assumed that ...
I would like these vague statements to be backed up with some evidence before they can be given any credence. Who are these 'others'? How many people constitute a 'significant number'?

The Society needs to have a much broader outlook than simply endorsing the comfortable status quo. I'm sorry to break the news that it's not 1980 anymore. The Church has moved on, folk might not like that, but they can't live in denial. I have been in two minds whether to renew my membership, and Southern Comfort's comment makes the decision to keep my chequebook in my pocket much easier.

JW wrote:If the SSG wish to invite people from all viewpoints, perhaps they could even things up by inviting Mike Anderson, or even Graham Kendrick, to give the lecture next year?
If either of these two have something to say about Catholic liturgy, why not? But I hardly think that would be 'even things up', if one 'trad' (who hasn't even spoken yet) has swung the balance away from the 'liberal' in the Society's activities, (much as those labels aren't useful) then the 'trad' must carry vastly more weight than any number of 'liberals'.

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Nick Baty
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Re: More from Mgr Wadsworth

Post by Nick Baty » Tue Jul 10, 2012 6:51 pm

I'm not an SSG member (although I do make a small donation) so my views don't count. However, I really don't think this will do the SSG's image any good. Donning my journalist's hat, I could easily construct a piece which implied the SSG's endorsement of Mgr Wadsworth's views without telling a fib.

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Re: More from Mgr Wadsworth

Post by docmattc » Tue Jul 10, 2012 7:04 pm

Nick Baty wrote: I don't think this will do the SSG's image any good.

And exactly what is that image? Not so long ago it was one of "hairy liberals foisting "Bind us together" on people" (or something along those lines). The second that the Society actually begins to broaden its outlook, and perhaps begin to change that image, certain people spout nonsense and behave like the world will end.

I despair.

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Nick Baty
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Re: More from Mgr Wadsworth

Post by Nick Baty » Tue Jul 10, 2012 7:20 pm

Just don't be surprised if the society is reported to be moving away from liturgy to ritual. Although with some of the things happening in the Church right now, perhaps that's the way forward.

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Re: More from Mgr Wadsworth

Post by Copernicus » Tue Jul 10, 2012 7:38 pm

Sun Tzu wrote:If you know others and know yourself, you will not be imperilled in a hundred battles; if you know yourself but do not know others, you win one and lose one; if you do not know others and do not know yourself, you will be imperilled in every single battle.

Not as snappy as Non clamor sed amor..., but useful words all the same. I don't think knowing others necessarily means agreeing with them. ;-)

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Re: More from Mgr Wadsworth

Post by alan29 » Tue Jul 10, 2012 7:44 pm

Aren't varied views to be expected in what has surprisingly become an a la carte church in terms of liturgy.
Listening doesn't imply consent.

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Re: More from Mgr Wadsworth

Post by Nick Baty » Tue Jul 10, 2012 7:52 pm

So if I stage a Tory party conference in my back garden, my neighbours will still speak to me?

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Re: More from Mgr Wadsworth

Post by Southern Comfort » Tue Jul 10, 2012 8:04 pm

docmattc wrote:When Southern Comfort says
A significant number of people thought...
and
Others assumed that ...
I would like these vague statements to be backed up with some evidence before they can be given any credence. Who are these 'others'? How many people constitute a 'significant number'?


All I can tell you is that I have received a considerable number of emails and messages about this saying things like "The Trustees have lost the plot". I am not alone in my views, as you seem to be implying. I think it would be invidious to give a list of names, and indeed I do not know the identities behind some of the usernames. Those people have communicated with me precisely because they trust me not to reveal their identities, and because they wanted to say anonymously what they do not yet feel able to say openly. There are others who feel able to respond openly on this thread, as we have seen.

Perhaps I could say it once again: I would be happy to be part of a debate with Mgr Wadsworth in a different forum (no sticking fingers in ears, by the way). But placing it in the context of the AGM and Crichton Memorial Lecture could well give the impression, as others have said further up this thread, that the SSG is aligning itself with the totality of Mgr Wadsworth's views. That's the problem. Some of those views are along the broad lines that many of us would endorse; but many others are in a completely different world. Let's have the debate with him, but not in the proposed context.

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Re: More from Mgr Wadsworth

Post by docmattc » Tue Jul 10, 2012 8:16 pm

Southern Comfort wrote:All I can tell you is that I have received a considerable number of emails and messages about this saying things like "The Trustees have lost the plot".


So you can only back up a vague statement with a vague statement. Not exactly a water tight argument is it? Perhaps a trustee can tell us how many messages they have received, or whether a considerable number of people (real or imagined) can only gossip rather than have the strength of character to address their concerns to those who actually have any influence over the Society.

I welcome the trustees decision to invite Mgr Wadsworth, and for the record, suggested several years ago that he be invited to contribute to the journal precisely in order to give it more balance. Sadly, a significant proportion of the editorial board have the same outdated and intolerant views as Southern Comfort, which if allowed to flourish will run the Society into the ground. Those views have already ensured that I will not renew my membership, and I'd suggest that I was one of the younger members.

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